Blog by Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Autumn, Allergies, Ashtma (and Chinese Medicine)

Autumn is here! In Chinese Medicine, the fall corresponds to the Metal Element (of the Five Element Cycle). The metal is the element of the Lungs and Large Intestine (paired organs.) The emotion is grief and letting go, the color is white.

Hen of the Woods/Maitake - a wild medicinal and edible mushroom found in the fall


It is the time of year to harvest what we have sown (in the garden and life), clean out the garden beds, tidy up. It is a wonderful time of year to let go of things: that which is cluttering our space.

The change of seasons is a great time of year to come in for an acupuncture treatment  or tune up. Changing seasons often bring to the front any small imbalances we may have going on...this time of year we may notice (all which may be related to the metal element):

  • allergies
  • asthma
  • acne
  • sinus issues
  • constipation
  • sadness or depression

as well as other imbalances coming to the forefront:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • low energy
  • headaches, etc.

Sometimes just coming in four or five times a year (at the change of seasons) is all an otherwise healthy person needs to keep themselves on track and functioning at their best.

If you'd like to come in for a treatment give us a call at (412) 381-0116. We'd also be happy to answer any questions for you. You can also email us at BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Thanks so much! We hope to see you soon!

Melissa and David Sokulski
Licensed Acupuncturists
The Birch Center for Health
(412) 381-0116

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Menu Monday: Apples, Nettles, Soups and Pumpkin Latte

We're trying out a new feature here at Birch Center: Menu Monday, in which we post some menu ideas for the upcoming week. Based on fresh, seasonal (and sometimes wild) ingredients, there will also be some energetic explanation on the food choices based on Chinese medicine. Though it is hard to go wrong (energetically) when you are eating fresh, local foods!

nettles
This week we are incorporating foods from our garden:
  • kale
  • beets
  • arugula
from farmer's markets:
  • apples
  • squash/pumpkins (my favorite is delicata squash)
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • onions
  • potatoes
from the grocery store:
  • cucumbers
  • celery
chicken mushroom
from the wild:
  • nettles
  • chicken mushroom
  • burdock root
  • dandelion root
and from my pantry:
  • brown rice
  • beans, canned: black and kidney
  • red lentils
  • raw cashews
  • jar of Indian Curry (vegan)
  • tofu (refrigerated)

I like to start the day with fresh juice. Even though the season is getting colder and juice has a cold energy, it is detoxifying to the body and helps rid the body of excess (such excess weight, which can lead to excess heat which may show up as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, headaches, etc.)

juice ingredients with burdock root
This week's juices:
I may add ginger root to warm up the energy a bit, and I will water the juice down to cut the concentrated sugars.

red lentil, potato, nettle soup
Fall is a perfect season for soups! The soups I'll be making this week are:
A couple rice dishes include:
  • Tofu, Brown Rice, kale, broccoli and onions, tossed with a jar of vegan Indian Curry (I picked this up at the supermarket)
  • Stuffed Delicata Squash - baked squash (don't forget to save and roast the seeds!) stuffed with rice, celery, onions, mushrooms
Simple salads to complement the meals:
  • Romaine lettuce
  • "Garden salad" - using kale and arugula from my garden!
  • Coleslaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • Cucumber and onions
 Finally, as a yummy treat, this Pumpkin Latte, which is vegan and caffeine free!

 Dandelion Coffee:
  • Dig dandelion roots
  • Clean well, chop into small pieces and roast in oven at 350 degrees until dry and brown, about an hour
  • Add a couple Tablespoons of the roasted roots to 4 cups water, simmer 20 minutes.
Cashew Milk:
  •  1/2 cup raw cashews (dry or soaked)
  • 2 dates, pitted (you can omit dates entirely, or substitute with a couple tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup)
  • 4 cups water
Blend well in a high speed blender such as a vitamix. If you don't have a strong blender, soak the cashews first for at least 1/2 hour to soften. Then blend well. You shouldn't need to strain this milk because cashews are so soft and will blend entirely. 

To make latte, to blender:
  • Add equal amounts of dandelion coffee (hot) and cashew milk to blender. 
  • Add a tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • Add a couple scoops of baked squash or baked pumpkin
  • Optional: agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or dates to sweeten (it may be sweet enough if your cashew milk is sweet)
Blend well and enjoy.

I hope this menu gives you some great ideas for healthy seasonal foods this week.

~ Melissa Sokulski, L.Ac.

To schedule an acupuncture appointment, please call (412) 381-0116 or email BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Questions about acupuncture? Call (412) 381-0116 or email BirchCenter@gmail.com

Please sign up for our newsletter! You'll receive up to date information, recipes, health information, and specials. Plus you'll receive your free gift: 10 ways to improve your health right now. Thanks!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Getting Stuck In Pittsburgh

We've been having fun tonight...creating fun products for Food Under Foot - aprons, t-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles, journals, etc. We made a few designs: Mushroom Hunter with a picture of a morel, Eat Weeds and Thrive - one with a yellow dock seed heart and one with chicory flowers.

Then Dave had an idea: why not make something for the Birch Center?


My ideas were so boring...and then Dave came up with a winner: Getting Stuck in Pittsburgh, Birch Center for Acupuncture.

Here's the tote:


 I love it. I hope you do, too.



Make Custom Gifts at CafePress

Enjoy, my friends.

Buy t-shirts, mugs and gifts from our shop.


  Two New Awesome Designs! 

 We've added a couple awesome/rawesome designs on a bunch more products.

 This Rawckin' Rawesome design on t-shirts, totes, baby bibs, notebooks, etc:


And, for all the acupuncture enthusiasts out there:


 Enjoy!!

 Visit our store

 Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get your free gift, 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now.

Thanks!

 ~ Melissa and Dave

Monday, September 3, 2012

Late Summer and Digestive Health

It's the end of the summer yet it's not quite fall. In Chinese Medicine, this important season is known as "late summer" and it corresponds to the Earth element. In our bodies, the earth element manifests as digestion, and our stomach, spleen and pancreas.

Yellow-orange is the color of the Earth element, as as we look around at the ripening pumpkins and winter squash, corn and grains we get some idea why. Eating yellow/orange food like squash, sweet potatoes and millet is a great way to support the digestion. When digestion is weak all other organ systems are effected, so now is a wonderful time to focus on digestive health.

 If experiencing problems in this area, such as
  • weight gain or loss
  • bloating or gas
  • difficulty digestion
  • no appetite or too much appetite
  • constipation or loose stools
  • stomach ache
  • heart burn
  • slow digestion
This is a great time of year to get back on track. Acupuncture can help immensely as can herbal supplements such as Bao He Wan which helps digestion after over-eating or slow digestion. Taking enzymes with meals can help as well. For gas/bloating with bowel issues Free and Easy Wanderer (Xiao  Yao Wan) can help as can an acupuncture treatment. (Call (412) 381-0116 to schedule your appointment today!)

In fact, acupuncture alone can do wonders for all kinds of digestive problems; this is one of the things we've had great success with here at the Birch Center. Points on the stomach and spleen meridians (on the legs, feet and abdomen) help regulate, relax and nourish the digestion. Moxa can be applied to warm and strengthen the meridians if necessary, and the relaxing effect of a balancing acupuncture treatment is without compare.

Now is an excellent time for an acupuncture tune up or to begin treatments. Please give us a call today to schedule your appointment: (412) 381-0116.

In health,
David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hawthorn Berries, Shan Zha

One thing you can do in a kitchen clear of clutter is make medicines for yourself from the many wild plants that grow abundantly all around.


In Chinese medicine hawthorn berries, (Crataegus sp.) or Shan Zha, were used for thousands of years to benefit digestion.  Western herbalists used hawthorn to benefit the heart and circulation. The Chinese recently did their own studies on this and found indeed that hawthorn is very beneficial to the heart. Now the hawthorn is used both ways in the East.

Below is a simple vinegar I am making by steeping hawthorn berries in apple cider vinegar. I will leave it at least 6 weeks. The berries are coming above the vinegar so if they don’t drop into the vinegar in a day or so I may crush the berries to see if that helps. It’s best to have them submerged so they don’t mold. Also, I used a plastic lid…metal corrodes with vinegar.

I also made fermented soda, fruit butter and a shrub, which is a concentrated mixture of vinegar, fruit and sugar. Shrubs are often drunk on seltzer water or alcohol (I prefer the seltzer.)

Visit our sister website Food Under Foot to see the pictures and information on the rest of the ways I put up the Hawthorn berries.

Two other ways to take advantage of the medicinal properties of hawthorn are to make a tincture (soaking the berries in alcohol like vodka) or an apertif, which is a nice way to use hawthorns to help digestion.

And remember, now is an excellent time for an acupuncture tune up or to begin treatments again. Please give us a call today to schedule your appointment: (412) 381-0116.
 
In health,
David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kitchen Feng Shui

Feng Shui is a Chinese principle that pertains to the energy flow of your surroundings - usually your home, office, or any place you spend a lot of time. Literally meaning "wind water" the ease which energy flows through an area is thought to have a direct impact on your health and well being.

Like any ancient art, there is a lot to feng shui - many different schools of thought and interpretations. You can go into fine details of exactly how homes are mapped out or just step into your space and get a sense of how it feels: open or stuffy, cluttered or clear?

This is the season of late summer, which corresponds to the Earth element and digestion. What better place to start with feng shui than our kitchens? Feng Shui practitioners believe that the kitchen impacts not only our health but our luck and abundance. We want our kitchens to be light and bright, clear and clean.

Instead of going into the technical nitty gritty of which corner of our kitchen reflects marriage, which area family life, work, love, luck, health, etc. let's go for overall feel and general energy flow.

How does your kitchen look? Are dirty dishes piled up? Are your counters clear or are there appliances crowded on that you hardly use? How about your fridge? Can you find things easily or does it sort of smell and have unrecognizable containers of leftovers that could pass as science experiments?

How do I know about all these things I wonder...?? Yes, I'm right there with you! This is my ongoing project as well: cleaning the fridge, clearing the counters, filling jars with dried herbs (instead of leaving them in paper bags cluttering counters.)

The goal is to have a clear, light, bright, clutter-free kitchen with lots of space to prepare healthy wonderful meals for yourself and your family. If you feel overwhelmed by the state of your home or health, the kitchen is the place to start.

A great website for help with clutter clearing and cleaning is Fly Lady. In fact, she too starts in the kitchen: cleaning the kitchen sink, which is a great idea of a place to start for this kitchen feng shui project.

Before you do anything else: clean and put away all the dirty dishes. If you have a dish washer load, run and clear it. If you're washing dishes by hand, go ahead and do that now, and don't forget to dry and put them away. Then wash your sink. It's a great place to begin.

Another thing I learned from Flylady is to set a timer for 15 minutes. That is what I do in my kitchen at least twice a day. I set it for 15 minutes and: put the dishes away, clean the counters, deal with leftovers and food left out, put appliances away, sweep floor, whatever needs to be done I do until the timer goes off.

Let's get our kitchens clean and clear and ready for all the great healthful recipes I will be posting soon!!

And remember, now is an excellent time for an acupuncture tune up or to begin treatments again. Please give us a call today to schedule your appointment: (412) 381-0116.

In health,
David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Places to Find Us


dryad's saddle, edible mushroom

You may have noticed we haven't been updating this blog lately and been wondering why or where we are. If we're not in our office we are likely out in the woods, searching for edible mushrooms and at local farms foraging the most delectable, edible and good-for-you wild edibles for our weekly Community Supported Foraging (CSF) shares. We do update the Food Under Foot blog regularly and I encourage you to check us out over there.

Other ways to get info and stay in touch with us:

We hope to see you or hear from you soon!!

In health,

David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Testimonial: From Infertility to Beautiful Baby Girl!

This letter recently arrived for Birch Center Acupuncturist David Sokulski. It is reprinted here with permission.

Dear David,

I am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to get pregnant.

As you know, my husband and I had been trying to conceive for 3 years with no luck. I had been receiving acupuncture treatments from you on and off for about 2.5 years. during this time, I had been undergoing fertility treatments including four months of Clomid and three months of FSH injections. None of these cycles resulted in conception.

My husband and I decided that my body and mind needed a break from the treatments. However, I increased my acupuncture treatments with you to once per week. During these acupuncture treatments, I mentioned to you that I craved hot foods and drinks and you suggested that my body seemed to be craving warmth and that it needed to be warmed to allow pregnancy to occur.

You also added moxibustion treatments on my abdomen and lower back to warm the uterus. You recommended that I keep warm at all times...wear a scarf and hat, gloves and warm boots or shoes. I was to pay particular attention to keeping my hands, feet and lower back warm. I drank warm liquids and ate warming foods. You also gave an herbal supplement to strengthen my kidneys.

After 6 weeks of this regimen, we noticed my body was warmer. You told me, "You are now warm. Give treatments a break and see what happens."

We conceived three days later.

I tell everyone who will listen our story. It is nothing short than a miracle but one that was not possible without your help. You provided not only the expertise and necessary therapy to help me conceive, but also you are an extremely kind and caring person who would listen and console me and give me hope. You suggested helpful books to read, in particular "The Secret." I really connected with the teachings in this book and I am convinced that thinking positively and expressing gratitude for achieving my dreams helped them to come true.

Again, my husband and I can't thank you enough for helping us to conceive our baby girl, born on November 2, 2011 by schedule C-section (due to my previous myomectomy surgery.) She is such a joy to us and we are enjoying every minute with her. You were able to do for us what modern medicine could not. We are forever grateful and hope that our story will inspire others to seek assistance from you and give them hope that their dreams will come true too.

Sincerely,

J.P. and S.P.


Congratulations J and S!!! We are so happy for you and your little cutie (they also sent us a picture and believe me, this baby is gorgeous!!!)

To make an appointment or discuss your condition with David, please give us a call at (412) 381-0116.


Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Space Available to Rent at Birch Center



We have space to rent at the Birch Center!

Our space is lovely, right on East Carson Street (up one flight of stairs) in Pittsburgh's South Side. It has a waiting room, bathroom and three treatment rooms. The ones in front and back are up for rent...you can rent them for a certain day (or days) of the week and pay monthly. For example, perhaps you want to see clients on Fridays, you could choose which room you'd like and it would be reserved for you (and only you) every Friday. You can see clients any time of day for however long you wish and choose what to charge. Instead of taking a percentage, we'd just charge a small monthly fee ($150/month for one day/week. Add $100 month for each day per week.)

That is a flat fee, you would not pay for utilities. You and your clients are also welcome to the water and tea we have available. There are also massage tables in the rooms which you are welcome to use (but please bring your own sheets.) This would be your own practice, you get to attract and schedule your own clients, and of course you can advertise at the Birch Center!

We are looking for massage therapists, energy therapists, body workers. Also health coaches, nutritional counselors, homeopaths, EFT, therapists, etc. The space would even be great as a study space for students or writing space for writers. Also yoga therapists or one on one yoga sessions. (Even the front space isn't quite big enough for actual yoga classes, but private yoga sessions would be great.) We will still be using the space as well (we are acupuncturists) so there cannot be lots of noise during sessions.

Our website has more information about us and what we do. If you would like to see the space or talk more about it, just call us at (412) 381-0116.

Thanks so much!

David and Melissa Sokulski
licensed acupuncturists

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy New Year - Year of the Dragon!


photo: image from Wikimedia commons image file

This should be one exciting year. Last time the year of the dragon rolled around (2000, the infamous Y2K) there were also predictions of the end of the world - computers were supposed to crash, death and destruction all around. Dragon is a powerful year and will bring about change.

The dragon is the only mythical animal on the Chinese zodiac. Unlike our idea of dragons in the West (as monsters to be slayed), in the East dragons are revered as divine and are symbols of luck and intense power.

People born in the year of the dragon (2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, and so on in 12 year increments) are free spirits who don't like to follow rules. They tend to be extroverted and irrepressible. Confident and fearless, they are often successful. Famous dragons include Al Pacino, John Lennon, Sandra Bullock and Joan of Arc.

This is the year to think outside of the box. Let your imagination and enthusiasm go - think big and act on your ideas. 2012 is a water dragon year, the water will naturally add a calming element to dragon energy which will be balancing. Take chances, meet people, get your ideas out there and make something big and wonderful happen.

What are your big ideas and plans for 2012? Make them happen. If health issues or pain is getting in the way of your big plans, make sure you come in to The Birch Center to see us. Give us a call today (412) 381-0116. We want to see your ideas manifest - the world needs you!

In health,

~ Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

US Bridal Guide has more great information about Chinese horoscopes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Smoothie Smackdown: 6 Steps to Elixir Nirvana

smoothie made from wild paw paws

Smoothies have gone mainstream. So mainstream that McDonalds sells them. And even if you go to a juice and smoothie bar, how healthy is a smoothie that's sweetened with frozen yogurt and pasteurized juice...even if you "boost it" with spirulina? Hmmmmmm....

Have no fear. Stay home and make your own delicious smoothie. Of course add your favorite fresh and/or frozen fruits and maybe even some veggies like cucumber or carrot. But don't try to imitate the chains. We're going to skip the fro yo and frozen juice concentrate (or store-bought juice) Here are six ways to turn a not-so-great-for-you smoothie into a delicious health elixir!!

  1. Junk the store-bought juice or juice concentrate. Why do that to yourself? At best it is just sugar water, at worst it may contain corn syrup from genetically modified corn and other additives or preservatives. But even when you get 100% organic juice, it has been pasteurized, destroying any life-giving enzymes, and greatly reducing if not also destroying all the vitamins and minerals. Plus...who knows what is really in those 100% organic juices? It wasn't long ago when it came out that those organic apple juices were found to be laced with arsenic. Alternatives? Sure!


    • Water - add good old fashioned water to your delicious smoothie! Maybe it doesn't need the extra sweetness. (and if it does, add a squirt of honey, maple syrup, agave or even stevia at the end.)

    • Coconut Water - from a young Thai coconut. Crack one of these open and pour that delicious clear sweet nectar right in. While you're at it, scrape out the pulp and add that to your smoothie as well. (Google "opening Thai coconuts" for more info.)

    • Fresh veggie or fruit juice that you juice yourself, in your juicer! Mmmmm.

    • Freshly made nut milk...or just add a few nuts and water to your smoothie and it will automatically blend up into a "milk" base.

      To make nut milk just add 1/2 cup soaked nuts (almonds, cashews) and 4 cups of water to your blender with a pinch of sea salt and a little vanilla (those are optional.) Blend 'til nice and white. If using cashews you won't even have to strain it!

    • Herb tea. Maybe you've even harvested and dried your own nettles, or raspberry leaf. Steep it into tea and use that as the base for your smoothie.

    • Mushroom tea, from reishi, maitake, shiitake. I know...not as inviting. But mushroom tea is an ultimate health elixir: boosting immunity and even fighting cancer. Add some to your smoothie as a base, you can always add a squirt of honey, maple syrup or agave nectar (or stevia) if you need a little extra sweetness.


  2. Drop Kick the Dairy. You don't need it. Skip the fro yo, non-frozen yogurt, milk or ice cream. Dairy causes congestion and dampness in the body. It may even be full of hormones and corn syrup. Yuck. There are plenty of other, healthier, ways to get calcium (see greens, below.) Leave the dairy to the cows.

  3. Pitch the Protein Powder. Again, you probably don't need it. We are fed quite a line about needing X amount of protein, and as vegetarians or especially vegans we are often asked about getting enough protein. It's very likely we do, but if we do end up needing a protein boost skip the protein powders: Consumer Reports did a very thorough study and found most protein powders are contaminated with heavy metals: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, and Arsenic. Some have quite a lot of all those things. In our country protein deficiency is not a big problem, even in athletes, though heavy metal toxicity is.

    But if you need a boost of protein consider adding this instead:

    • Whole hemp seeds - they will blend right up in your smoothie and are not only full of protein but omega fatty acids as well

    • Chia seeds (my latest YUM!) also chock full of omega fatty acids.

    • GREENS (see below) have surprisingly high amounts of protein and of course are low in fat.

    • Algae like spirulina and blue-green algae are also high in protein.

    • Quinoa, which is actually a seed rather than a grain. You can add it sprouted or cooked, it will blend splendidly and is high in protein.

  4. Grab some Greens - Yes, say it loud say it proud! Adding leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards, and swiss chard will add protein, calcium, vitamins, enzymes, iron, and so much else! Start with a handful of spinach...I promise you won't even taste it. Then you can add more and more and begin expanding to other greens.

  5. Go Wild - For the ultimate elixir experience, add wild plants to your smoothie. Wild greens like nettles, violet greens, and chickweed. Flowers like black locust flower, dandelion and clover blossoms. Wild berries: mulberry, blueberry, huckleberry, blackberry. Wild plants trump even organically grown produce for their vitamin and mineral content, to say nothing of their wildly off the charts life force. Learn about one local wild edible and start with that. Make sure you are 100% sure you know what it is before adding it to your drink and never add wild carrot greens (Queen Anne's Lace) because although they are edible they can too easily be mistaken for the deadly poison hemlock. You want more info on wild plants? Pictures, identification, recipes?? Visit our sister site Food Under Foot. We've got you covered.

  6. Presence, Joy, Gratitude. Look what you have in your hand! An amazing, delicious, totally healthy smoothie - nay, elixir - that you made yourself. You can smell the blended freshness. Take your time, enjoy everything. Visualize your cells being nourished with every sip. Cheers!


Here is a simple elixir smoothie recipe that you can play with:

Green Smoothie with Nettles

2 bananas
1 cup frozen mangoes
1/2 cup mulberries (or blueberries, fresh or frozen)
handful (a careful handful…don’t get stung!) fresh wild nettles
2 cups water (can add coconut water, herb tea, etc.)

Blend well. Nettles lose their sting when blended. This makes 2 - 4 servings, depending on how much you want.

In health,

~ Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Reishi Give Away

Happy New Year!

We have so many great things planned for 2012 - and they involve YOU.

Many of you know that we have such a big interest in using wild plants for food and medicine that we started our own educational website: Food Under Foot. 2012 is going to be the year that Food Under Foot gets happy feet! More on that later, but for now....

We are having our very first give-away! That's right, we want to send one lucky person 4 oz (1/4 pound!) of some of the gorgeous dried reishi mushroom (Ganoderma tsugae) we harvested this past year from the old growth hemlock forests of Northern Pennsylvania.

Basket of Ganoderma tsugae (reishi mushroom)

To enter:

  1. Visit and like our Food Under Foot facebook page*

  2. Find the entry that says: REISHI GIVE-AWAY

  3. Under that entry leave a comment telling us where you are from, your favorite thing to forage (all the better if it's a local treat) and what you love to do with it/how you love to eat/use it.

  4. Share so your friends and family can have a chance to win (one entry per person please.)


That's it! And please share the info with your friends and family so they can join in the fun (who knows, maybe if they win they will share, as I'm sure you'd do the same ;-) )

4 oz dried Reishi (Ganoderma tsugae)

Reishi is a medicinal mushroom which you boil in water and drink the tea. Known in China as Ling Zhi - the mushroom of immortality, the tea is known for its health giving properties. It's been used for thousands of years in Asia. It boosts the immune system and is anti-cancer and is known for supporting overall wellness and vitality.

You have until Sunday January 8, 2012 to enter, then on Monday January 9, we will assign everyone who entered a number, and randomly pick a number from a hat and whoever matches that number wins!!

We will pay shipping for the US...if you are outside the US we still invite you to enter, but we'd ask that you please help us pay for shipping.

Ganoderma tsugae (reishi) growing on a fallen hemlock tree

Good Luck!!

~ Melissa and David Sokulski, L.Acs.

The Birch Center for Acupuncture
(412) 381-0116

Please sign up for our monthly newsletter! We have raw recipes, information about Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and overall wellness information. Sign up today and receive your free gift: 10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now. We'd love to stay in touch. Thank you!

* If you don't have a facebook account but would still like to enter, please send me your name, where you live, favorite wild edible and what you love to do with it...send it to Melissa@FoodUnderFoot.com, subject: Reishi Give-Away, and we will get you entered to win.